Monday, October 14, 2013

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another One for the Books

I'm glad this year is (almost) over. It seems like it's lasted for two. For a while there, I was actually wishing the whole Mayan calendar thing was true, because this was turning out to be one of the worst years of my life. You'll notice the date and content of my last post and easily figure out why.

That, and I was stuck in a job I didn't want with a dysfunctional business strategy guiding not only my team but the other teams with which I closely worked. On top of that, I started thinking my particular age might be the magical turning point where everything was downhill from here. Not in a good place at all.

Good news is it looks like life is on a upswing. I've been in a new job for a little over a month in a great location, with great people, tons of challenges, AND (not that it's important, but...) more money. The challenges aren't all going to be easy and maybe not even winnable, but in the end, it's going to be something I can stick in my back pocket and every now and then pull out and say, "I did that!" Now when I leave work, I don't feel like drinking my life away and I actually try to work out a little bit. My daughter starting up sports has helped too. In fact, her first basketball game ever was this week, and while the gang of fourth graders she runs with didn't score any points against the fifth and sixth grade rivals, they did something even better.

Yep, that sucker's stuck. Hilarious. And yes, the other team scored 24 and they scored zero. It was still fun (straight from the horse's mouth)!

Something else that helped put a big smile on my face was spending time with my husband in Nashville earlier this month. We honeymooned there fifteen years ago, and I've always wanted to go back, especially since my sister and a group of our friends go every year to see the Texans beat the Titans. Oh, now you see what the smile is from, you say. Well yeah, how could I help but smile when this was my view?

Yep, life is good. Now let's hope all that hype about the Mayans really isn't true.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Tribute to My Cousin

My cousin died two weeks ago today. I know some people would say big deal, it’s just a cousin or big deal, people die every day, but it is a big deal to me.
My father has a brother and three sisters. My sister and I basically grew up with our cousins from the three sisters like we were siblings, swimming like fish in my grandparents’ pool and climbing trees like monkeys up and down Grape Street. My uncle acted like one of us kids until he left for Florida and never came back (that’s a whole ‘nother story). We are all still close at heart even though we spread out among Arkansas, Texas and Florida back in the 80’s. I’m the oldest of the cousins; my dead cousin was two months younger than me.
I guess my father’s side of the family has been mostly lucky when it comes to death. We really haven’t had to deal with the tragedy of losing our loved ones too soon. My grandparents lived long, full lives; my parents are relatively healthy; my aunts and uncle are still going strong; and the rest of my cousins and their spawn are thriving. There was an incident, almost three years ago now, where one of my younger cousins lost the love of her life to a ranching accident; he was gored in the lung by an exotic deer. This was the husband to the sister of my dead cousin. As I said, we’ve been mostly lucky, but some of us have suffered much, much more than others.
If you ever rented tubes from Rockin’ R on the Comal River, you might have seen my cousin. You really couldn’t miss him. He was a big guy, almost as tall as me (a long-standing joke in the family), and definitely twice as wide; his voice matched his size. While his sense of humor bordered on obnoxious for some of the family, you can be certain a woman like me would think he was funny. He had been many things in his too-short life…a chef who helped start one of the best restaurants in New Braunfels, a real estate agent who drooled over riverfront property, and a teacher whose next big thing was being a principal. He got to dance with his beautiful daughter while celebrating his sister's second chance at love only two short months ago. He didn’t get to do enough.

Although it was his heart that was the most broken, the hearts of his entire family will forever be changed. I love and miss you, Chris.

Friday, March 23, 2012

2012 Rodeo

I started to write this year's rodeo wrap-up, then I got bored and quit, and then I realized I really need to get that fat picture off the top of the page (since now my boobies are small and my pants are falling off again), so then I thought of a few things to say.

Overall, it was a stellar year for this rodeo volunteer. I got to park at Pole 21 every night I worked. I drank a lot and ate some tamales. I got in trouble a couple of times for still acting like a captain, but I like getting in trouble (imagine that).

I did not get to sing with the National Anthem with the choir due to a "marketing decision" the powers-that-be made two weeks before the rodeo started. But I got to wear our pretty vest

when we rode in the Grand Entry.

The Kitten rode some rides and made it out alive.

She and The Tomcat got to ride in the Grand Entry too (trust me, that's them).

Somehow, both The Catmobile and The Tomcat's truck were hit in the rodeo parking lots this year. The Catmobile got it bad, but so what? It's paid for, and I'm getting a sports car in another two years.

Like I said, no complaints overall. I'm sure my next post will be something along the lines of not keeping the weight lost from Operation Rodeo Jeans off. Until then...YEEHAW!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

_ARD0495_1 copy by SmoPho
Photo by SmoPho on Flickr.
That is if your version of a merry Christmas starts with an elbow in your crotch.

I tried to find a more flattering picture of myself from the San Antonio Roller Derby mashup bout I skated in last Sunday, but the only thing I found was that I need to lose about 30 pounds before March.  Boobies!

So Merry Christmas, indeed!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer is Over (in my book)

The Summer of 2011 was hell...absolute, energy-draining, soul-sucking hell. Not only because of the things everyone knows about...record-breaking heat, drought and wildfires in the wonderful state I call home...but also because of a ton of personal burdens. Today, after I completely get the Summer of 2011 off my chest, I'm walking away from it for good.

This summer started out with The Kitten attending a new daycare...for one whole week. She hated it and cried herself to sleep every single night she knew she had to go back there in the morning. Since she was traumatized and refused to try another daycare, we catered to her spoiled rottenness the rest of the summer by driving her to whatever extended family member she wished to grace with her presence or bribing her cousins to come to us. At least one of us had a great summer! I don't know of anything stronger than your worry for your child(ren) that can drag you down to a dark, dark place. Unless you have a demanding job too...

So during all that scrambling for babysitters and driving all over the northwest side of Houston, I was also dealing with work. You might recall a while ago I started talking about this big strategic project to which my very cool boss was reassigned and I would be backfilling for her in the meantime, but then as the project moved through its phases, we discovered the entire company would be reorganized and I started tweeting about how I wasn't going to have the same job (my original Business Analyst job) at the end of the six-month project. No? Well, that's your background, and all you really need to know is all that waiting and worrying over the summer came to a head when the available jobs were posted last week. I've narrowed down my five choices (although I know they will most likely place me in the job that most closely resembles the one I hold now and don't want), and now my fate is in somebody else's hands. Of course, I won't know that fate until the end of October, but like I said, I'm walking away. Letting it go, and hoping my company doesn't let me go.

Now the summer wasn't all bad. We had an awesome trip to Disney World the beginning of June. I skated in not only one but two banked track bouts. I spent a weekend with a friend I had not seen since high school. And, I finally found the motivation I need to move to a better place. I start rehearsing with the rodeo choir on September 26th, and our first performance is October 15th. I bet you didn't know that Catazon was a good enough singer to try out for a choir that performs in front of, oh, a few thousand people for three weeks out of the year and actually MAKE IT! Well, you oughta know.

Summer of can kiss my karaoke-ing ass.

sodaro hrd 8-29-2009 11-15-50 PM

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Well-Rounded Derby Girl

This morning, the knot that is still on my lower right leg almost two weeks after my first banked-track bout reminded me that I haven't shared my latest adventure in my derby life with my neglected blog. Today, I have absolutely no work to do and, since I'm losing my current job in the near future, no motivation to make up work to do. So here's the story about how a well-rounded woman became a well-rounded derby girl.

A couple of weeks ago, South Side Roller Derby began looking for skaters, flat-track or banked-track, to participate in an impromptu bout in an effort to keep from losing their venue. Even though I'm extremely out of shape and not getting any younger, I still try to maintain my free agent status by making a showing in any pick-up bout within a 300 mile radius, so naturally I jumped at the chance to try the real thing. I mean, what else put the dream in my heart if it wasn't old-school, no-holds-barred, banked-track roller derby? How could I pass this up?

South Side welcomed me and one other flat-tracker with open arms. I had made the hour-long drive from my north-side house to the south-side track several months ago for an open practice, and the two of us were there early before the bout to keep from embarrassing ourselves in public. Still I knew this wasn't going to be pretty; I really had no idea how different it was until the first whistle blew. My husband took a couple of pictures on his phone before the game started and I lost any shred of remaining innocence. (If you have half a brain, you can figure out a Catazon literally stands head and shoulders above the rest of the girls.) I haven't been able to find any others, but that might be a good thing, as you will see...

The first half was pretty much a waste for me. I had one good jam where I was able to impede the jammer for at least half the distance of the track if not more, but other than that, I could not get the hang of the angles and the acceleration factors. They put me the jammer star on me close to the end of the half, and I kept getting swallowed up by the pack every time I thought I was out. Damn those angles.

The second half, I was in every pack with one of my team's best skaters, Mojo, and she took me under her wing. We lined up next to each other in every jam, and she encouraged me to do the things I wasn't used to doing after playing by stringent flat-track rules for five years, such as swimming through the pack. I was starting to get pretty good at that, until I tried to take out a pole after getting a hip check to the inside. That speed you pick up going to the inside of the track is such a rush! The knot on my leg happened in the second half also, because I ended up on the floor or on top of other skaters much more than in the first half when I was skating too tentatively. Hey, I could get used to this!

In the end, the pink team was victorious, with or without my bumbling assistance. South Side is having another pick-up bout this Saturday, but my family is trying to make a July 4th tradition with friends at a Galveston beach house (two years in a row is not a tradition yet, but we'll go for more if possible). I highly recommend trying the banked track if you are a skilled flat-tracker. I know "I'll be back" if they'll have me.